Some people love to look at vintage vehicles; others love to collect them.
Long-time Mission resident Richard Heyman enjoys using his.
Heyman, 69, has lived in Mission since the late 1950s and owns a 1939 Ford pickup truck, although he’s quick to point out the phrase “pickup” wasn’t even invented back then; it was called a commercial.
Heyman first bought the truck in 1973 because he needed a pickup. The truck was already 34 years old when he purchased it and he has owned and cared for it ever since.
While he takes great care of it, Heyman, unlike other collectors, likes to use it.
“It’s licensed for everyday use, but I don’t use it every day. I use it when I need a pickup.”
Because of that, the vintage Ford does get a few scratches on it from time to time.
In fact, the truck has been in two accidents since Heyman purchased it. One time he was struck and the vehicle rolled over onto its side. The other time, another driver ran a stop sign and Heyman “plowed into” them.
“It’s heavy, heavy metal. I’ve had it fixed up twice,” he explained, adding that the old Fords aren’t that difficult to maintain on a day-to-day basis.
“It’s not fuel injection, so let’s start there. But you certainly have to learn about the carburetor,” explained Heyman.
For the most part, he does all his own repairs and maintenance.
While his truck isn’t considered to be in pristine condition, Heyman still attends local car collector shows.
So far this season he has attended the show at the Aldergrove Otter Co-Op and the annual Haney Show.
Next week, the truck will be part of the Mission Antique Car Show taking place at Chartwell Cedarbrooke (32331 Seventh Ave.) on Saturday, June 3 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The show is part of this year’s Seniors’ Week activities.
Residents may recognize the truck, not just because Heyman drives it locally, but he has participated in the Mission Candlelight Parade several times and the Old Car Sunday in the Park.
While some people are fascinated by old vehicles, Heyman said he doesn’t get a lot of questions about his Ford.
In the past, people would ask how much it’s worth or if it’s for sale, but recently the most common question is “Why are there two stick shifts in it?”
“I have an after-market overdrive in it, made for this vehicle.”
Heyman said he enjoys attending collector car shows because there are like-minded people all around.
“It’s like just about anything. If you go hiking, then there are people like you hiking. That’s perhaps why I do it. Also because people enjoy it. The feedback is always great. I don’t know if it’s ever not nice.”
The only negative comments he has ever received are from people telling him not to drive it.
“If I had put the work into it, like some collectors have done, and everything was brand new, I don’t think I’d be using it.”
He’s not shy about using his classic truck, and he even let a movie company use it.
The Mission vehicle appeared in one of the Night at the Museum sequels, though he can’t remember which one.
He said the truck appears in a scene where a diorama about the end of the Second World War comes to life. A soldier is seen standing in the back of the truck, yelling that the war is over.
“When I got it back, it had confetti in all the little nooks and crannies. I only did that once,” said Heyman.
While he loves his truck, Heyman said he wouldn’t mind adding another vehicle to the collection.
“I would like to get another one that is a bit hot-rodded. But I’d still like to have a flat head and six volts. I wouldn’t need anything more than that. Maybe I’d throw the overdrive in it but it would be rodded up. It might not have fenders it might be missing this and that a little bit more open.”
After all, everyone loves a classic vehicle.
“Old cars are like the fire department. When you drive by, everybody looks and gives you a thumbs up.”